Fly-Fishing Glossary

Fly-Fishing Gear


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Here are 20 fly-fishing terms, defined by Silvio Calabi, author of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fly-Fishing, (Henry Holt & Co., 1993).

Arbor: the spindle, or axle, of a fly reel

Bucktail: animal hair used in fly tying

Cree: A mottled ginger color

Danglies: small gadgets that fly fishermen like to hang from their vests

Salmon Fawning: a type of dry fly

Flymph: a soft-hackled fly

Fingerling: a baby fish, about the size of a finger

Flue: the soft fibers at the base of a feather

Gape: the bite of a hook

Haywire Twist: the strongest loop connection for tying wire to a fly

Herl: the individual barb of a feather, usually from a peacock’s tail or an ostrich plume

Hippers: hip boots, worn to wade into brooks and streams

Kype: a growth on the end of a trout or salmon’s jaw that makes it curve upward like a hook

Matching the Hatch: the dream scenario whereby an angler puts on the water an exact imitation of whatever aquatic insect is emerging

Parr: young salmon, usually 5 to 8 inches long

Popper: a type of surface fly that produces a gurgling noise when twitched through the water

Priest: a club used to deliver the “last rites” to a fish that won’t be released

Salter: the sea-run form of the brook trout

Square Tail: a nickname for brook trout

Skater: a type of high floating dry fly meant to “skate” across the water

Teaser: a hookless bait or lure used to draw a gamefish to within casting distance

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